real estate

Negotiate best sale price on your 1st home

Using an agent? Choose carefully, then listen
Using an agent? Choose carefully, then listen © Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

"The first time I sold a property, the first broker I spoke with gave me a ridiculously inflated selling price," says Steven Cohen, president of The Negotiation Skills Company. "Consequently, I didn't talk to any other broker."

Later, a more realistic broker sold the home for two-thirds of that initial asking price, he recalls. He learned a lesson: The best agents are worth the money, but choose carefully.

Don't automatically select the agent who promises the highest listing price, Cohen advises. Instead, reach out to professionals who have a reason to know who's good --bankers and lawyers -- for referrals. Talk to at least three agents, and be wary if one proposes an asking price that's "superlow or superhigh," he says.

Once you find someone you trust, listen to the advice you get. Your agent will explain how to maximize home value -- and that's why you hired that person, Cohen says.

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